About Me

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Hi. Welcome to my "taboo" blog. My name is Steph, and when I first started this, I was still in my thirties. In 2017, I switch decades! I am a Christian, so underlying everything I do and say is the Word of God, and the foundational truths I have learnt over the years. This doesn't mean I'm perfect - I am human. It just means I recognise I need God's help to live this life and try to live out His way, as best I can. So that's me in a nutshell. Thanks for taking the time to read through my blog, I hope you draw strength, hope or encouragement from what you read.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Need To Keep Busy

I don't know about anyone else, but WOW! is this season hard. Like today I had someone knock on the door and ask if I had any children who wanted to meet Santa who was on a float travelling around our Street.

"No! No children"
"No! No children who want to meet Santa"
...No! No children to make Christmas enjoyable.

I've managed to keep myself busy though. Working on a production at church which has led to all manner of busy-ness like,  filming, directing, editing, writing, singing, collecting branches, buying material...

I've needed to. On the two occasions I stopped and literally do nothing but relax, I broke down.

Sadness overwhelmed me as another year of this journey draws to an unsuccessful close.

And this season brings so many reminders, like today's visitors and the random 'Baby's First Christmas' baubles which had been displayed next to the robin I was looking for!

At least if I keep busy, I don't have time to think about what is missing from my life and get upset. At least if I keep busy I don't give my imagination the chance to wonder what life could have been, if only...

This is my way of coping through the family-orientated Christmas season. Right or wrong, it's just what I need to do.

I pray you cope better than I am and that God is gracious to you during the Christmas season!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

My car CD player has been broken for a couple of weeks. It only needed a new fuse, but as I am useless at that kind of thing, I had to wait for the time when Hubby was free to do change it. It's funny how much you miss having the freedom to play music when it is taken away from you!!

So when Hubby finally remembered to change the fuse, I found that when I started to play the CD, I listened more intently to what was playing. As I did, one line from one of the songs on the Desperation Band album "Centre of it All" really struck me.
"Your comfort is for all the hurting"
This one line is so profound in its simplicity, for we can only receive the comfort of God when we are hurting, We can't know this aspect of God's nature when we aren't in pain, for we would not have need to be comforted. As Jesus said,
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:4)
Many times, in this journey, I have known what it is to mourn. Someone said to me over the weekend, "You can't grieve what you don't know you're missing." But I can promise I really do know what I am missing, I have spent enough time with my gorgeous Nephews and Stepson to have a very clear understanding of what I am missing, and battle daily with the emptiness of my barren womb, my arms which long to hold Bubba, my hand which longs to take the tiny hand of my child and lead them, safely, through life. My grief may not be as visible as the parent who has lost a child, but I know I have experienced the comfort of God in my hurting... in my mourning. 

Wherever you are in your journey, know that Father God fully understands what we are fighting against, and how we are feeling, even if others don't get it. He is with you, walking through each day, and pouring out the balm of His comfort within your moment of grief and mourning. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Faith Won't Allow You to Hide.

My Church is just coming to the end of a two month sermon focus on "faith". It's really helpful to know that everyone has their own faith journey. But it's also really good to be reminded that God is with us through the toughest refining of our faith.

I seem to have this reoccurring thought...not always in relation to anything in particular, but often when I'm around others. It's the thought of melting under whatever chair I'm sitting on. It's like I literally melt and hide under the chair. And that's the key to this imagery - the idea of hiding away.

It would be so easy when the days are hard, when Aunt Flo arrives, when faced with our body's faults, when challenged by babies, children or pregnant women, to just hide ourselves away from having to deal with the pain. Or from dealing with our grief. Or from dealing with our empty womb and empty arms. But faith causes us to get up, get out, and get on.

Faith says, I want to hide away, but I know today, God can use me in spite of my pain. Faith says, I have no idea what is around the corner, but I know God does, and He will be with me each step of the way. Faith says, the world can be a confusing place but I know God sees all, He knows all, and He will comfort me in His Shalom. Faith takes us beyond our feelings of wanting to hide away, and allows the Spirit of God to lift our heads, to cause our face to shine with the peace which surpasses all understanding.

Let faith lead you. Don't hide yourself away. It may be hard, but I know, because I experience it, that God will help you get through this day. Just like He is with you every other day. Don't let your grief cover you over in darkness, Jesus will be your light. It's not easy. I so understand. And as Christmas approaches, and thoughts turn to 'family', hold your head up high, God will carry us through.

Friday, November 15, 2013

TV Debate About What Age Women Should Stop Trying to Conceive

The other day, I had a moment to actually sit down, longer than five minutes, so I thought I'd stick the TV on for a bit, and ended up watching "The Alan Titchmarsh Show". The only reason I ended up watching this, was because of the promise of debate between two women arguing for and against an age limit on women becoming pregnant. 

So when the time came for the debate, I was interested in hearing what would be said. The two women arguing were Samantha Brick, who is currently undergoing IVF at the "ripe old age" of 42, and a young twenty-something who has already had her two-point four children. 

Samantha shared what she had experienced and how she'd ended up walking the road to IVF. She voiced many of the thoughts and longings women who struggle to conceive express. She gave lots of factual information, including the fact that many women haven't purposely left it late to conceive, it's just the direction life has taken for them. She also shared stories of what it takes to have a desire to be a mum, and yet have that desire unmet.

Then the floor was opened to her challenger. Her basis for condemning women over 35 from being a mother is because she was born to older parents, and had to grow up without grandparents. Seriously! She was more bothered about not having grandparents, than the fact that her parents had struggled to conceive her, and so she decided that any woman over 35 is being selfish by having a baby, because they would deprive their child of grandparents.

As the show is pre-recorded for the Friday afternoon show, there was no opportunity to have a viewers contribution to the debate, which is a huge shame. I would loved to have added my "two-pennies worth" into the mix!

The fact is that, sadly, none of us are guaranteed of long life... A young couple in their twenties could have lost both their parents, while a couple in their forties could still have both of theirs living and active. Age is not a determiner of whether grandparents are around or not. So to decide that women over 35 are more at risk of damaging their children because they won't have the opportunity to forge a relationship with grandparents, is a crazy way of judging the suitability of a couple to become parents. 

The most shocking thing, at the end of the debate the studio audience were asked to raise a coloured paddle to show which side they agreed with. Thinking that Samantha had been less subjective and more structured in her argument, I was convinced that she would win over the votes of the audience, who were mainly older women. But alas, I was wrong. The audience seemed to agree with the young woman and condemned women over 35 as being selfish for wanting to have a baby! It seems that all those grandmothers in the audience couldn't bear the idea of not being a grandparent - which I understand, to an extent.

But, I'm so relieved there is no law against Hubby and I trying for our Bubba. As if it wasn't hard enough knowing I am disappointing my parents, as well as Hubby, as well as myself in this struggling to conceive, there are people out there who are prepared to condemn my desires, and stick a nail in the lid of the coffin, to stop us from having a Bubba! Wow! Where's God's grace in all this!!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Infertility And Depression

Why on earth am I struggling to contain my tears whilst sitting in Starbucks, enjoying one of ther "Festive Favourites"??? Oh yeah... it's because I started a new cycle, and there's a mum on the next table breastfeeding her Bubba... reminding me what I am not. Maybe I should leave... but why should I... I was here first, and I was perfectly OK sourcing some images for an article I had worked on. 

It is so maddening to suddenly have to contain my emotions, these crazy emotions which seem to have a life of their own, and usually let me know they exist when I'm out in public... why couldn't they just keep in check until it's dark and I'm alone!


The fact is, that according to a charity poll conducted recently, 91% of people suffering with fertility problems suffer from depression at some point in their struggles. Perhaps, one of the most difficult emotional consequences of infertility is the loss of control over one’s life (Domar AD, Seibel MM. Emotional aspects of infertility. In Seibel MM (ed). Infertility: a comprehensive text. Stamford: Appleton and Lange; 1997.p.29-44). A loss of control creates a huge sense of hopelessness when thinking about the future.

In my experience, there seems to be offers of support for those who go down the route of using one of the treatments available, like IVF, IUI etc... but what of those of us who can't use them for financial or health reasons, what about those who want to but are not eligible for help from the NHS, or what about those who had a number of attempts, which weren't successful and now the courses, and all options, have come to an end - what support? What counselling? What help?

Depression is the silent enemy of women who desire to be a Mumma, and who are fighting infertility. It can take a grip at any moment. As Christian's this can lead to the added pressure of feeling incredibly guilty - after all, aren't we supposed to trust God! Doesn't depression mean we have stopped trusting God??? How can we be a "good Christian" if we are depressed?? Not only does the Christian woman have to suffer the heartbreaking stigma of being infertile, but there's the added anxiety of having to appear to "hold it all together" and yet all you may want to do is hide in a dark corner, eat chocolate and never face the world again. The feeling of depression may even take you to the edge of suicide as the prospect of never being a Mumma is too much to bear.

Don't suffer alone. You're walking a lonely road anyway, but you don't have to be alone in it. Let your Hubby in to your heartache. Even if he doesn't understand what you are going through completely, he loves you and wants to be there to just hold you in your pain - remember he is fighting a similar battle with you.

Don't hold back your emotions... OK there may be occasions when you will need to run to the nearest toilet, but you need to be honest with yourself. You need to allow yourself to grieve without pressuring yourself to "get over it".

Be honest with God. I know, I know... talking to God may seem like the hardest thing to d right now, especially if you blame him for your fight against infertility. But we need to "forgive God" for ourselves, because He is the only One who can truly uphold you through the darkest days. It might feel like He has abandoned you, or is withholding good things from you, but He knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper you, not to harm you. We may not understand His ways, but we can trust them.

And if you need to, seek out a counsellor. The Infertility Network offer a support helpline (click the link to access information and the number) for those who need to speak to someone who really understands the struggles associated with infertility.

Find a Journey Buddy, preferably another woman who is going through a similar experience, or who has been through it and come out the other side (however that may look). Ain't no one gonna understand like someone who has worn similar shoes on a similar path.

Oh honey, I really wish I could make things better for you, but I pray that you will see the light of Jesus shining in your dark place. 

May you find rest in Yeshua's Shalom

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Talking About Fertility on Premier Radio

In the week leading up to the National Infertility Awareness Week, Maria Rodrigues-Toth interviewed Rosemary Morgan, author of the book, "Living With Infertility: A Christian Perspective" about her journey with infertility, on her Woman to Woman show (Premier Christian Radio).

Within the interview, Rosemary is honest about her relationship with God, and her anger toward Him, feeling that He was doing something terrible toward her, in withholding a baby from her. What she found though, was that God was feeling the pain she was - His arms aching for His children, just as her own arms ached to hold her own baby. She also speaks of the challenges to her womanhood, and the disappointment she felt each month having to tell her Hubby they were not pregnant, not to mention the things people say!

I have since ordered the book, on the back of hearing the interview, which I will review. In the meantime, click here to listen to Maria's interview with Rosemary on Premier Christian Radio's Woman to Woman show.

Monday, October 28, 2013

This is National Infertility Awareness Week

So today is the first day in what will become an annual awareness week each October, launched by patient-charity Infertility Network UK to support its Talking about Trying campaign.

It is hoped that by holding the week-long National Infertility Awareness campaign, the issues which affect as many as 1 in 6 people, in their struggle to conceive, more people will begin to understand the illnesses which causes subfertility, providing much needed support for those who are dealing with this in their lives.

As someone who likes to help raise awareness of stuff affecting women, I found it quite telling that when it came to raising the profile of "wear it pink day" for the Breast Cancer campaign, I didn't think twice about clicking "share" or posting inspirational testimonies. But when it comes to fertility problems, I found myself hesitating over the posts appearing in my newsfeed, wanting to share the post, but holding back. 

Even when it came to writing an article about National Infertility Awareness Week for one of the Christian papers, I hesitated before writing the one sentence about my own situation. Then deleted it. Then reinserted it. Then paused before hitting the "submit" button. Why is it so much harder to be open about my own struggle with infertility, but not about my brush with breast cancer (I found a lump in one of my breasts when I was about 25. It turned out to not be cancer, but we decided to remove it anyway).

There's such a stigma associated with being "infertile", even to this day, that to admit I am one of the 1 in 6 people struggling is hard to do. I want to, in order to be a support to any of my other friends who are in a similar situation, but I don't want to be on the receiving end of awkward conversations, or pity. Nor do I want to be avoided because others are not sure how to handle my situation!

My aim, by the end of the week, is to re-post something relating to the Infertility awareness week. To step out from the shadows, and brave the responses of others. Why should I allow the reactions of people to hold me back - and who knows, there might be another Prayer Warrior added to my "Battle for Bubba"!!

Story Read in Daily Mail - Removing the Yeast

Following my last blog post about trying to maintain a pH balance in our bodies (read here), I was reading the Daily Mail a few weeks ago, and found a story which was really encouraging.

The story that featured that day, was of a couple who had been trying for a baby for about 5 years and had tried various things, including fertility drugs. In the course of investigations, the woman, Mrs Cummings, was diagnosed with PCOS. 

They were about to embark on IVF treatment, when Mrs Cummings decided to visit a nutritionist, so she could prepare her body through a healthier lifestyle.

The nutritionist advised that she cut out yeast from her diet, one of the side effects of yeast was menstrual problems, which had led to her not having a period for about 6 months. Obviously, not having a period in itself prevents pregnancy, on top of the PCOS issues!

So Mrs Cummings stopped eating potatoes, bread, toast, and eating mainly fresh fruit and vegetables. Not long after she had made these changes, Mrs Cummings had her first period in six months The next month, she was pregnant!

In her interview, Mrs Cummings says, "I didn’t really go to  the centre to get pregnant, just to stand me in good stead for IVF but thankfully we didn’t have to go down that route. It just shows what years of abuse – drinking too much and eating the wrong things – can do to your body."

I may have been sceptical, initially, about the impact certain types of food have on my fertility and in my Journey for Bubba, but if a fresher diet has helped another woman, maybe... just maybe... it will help me! I'm even considering removing yeast from my diet too... but I LOVE Marmite, and have just opened a jar with gold in it!! Can I make this extra sacrifice... bacon butties and marmite gold on toast??? I think in the case of wanting Bubba, I actually can!

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Fertility Show, London

If you are in London, or can get to London, next weekend, this may be worth attending

To find out more about The Fertility Show, follow this link to visit their website.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Take Back What Was Stolen

I was reminiscing with my little brother about a song we used to love to sing and shout and dance around to... usually when we were in the car... much to the amusement of other drivers!

The song formed part of a medley of songs, titled, "Enemy's Camp / Look What the Lord Has Done!" (listen here) and we used to turn up loud and proclaim the words for our own lives. 

As I was listening to it tonight, I suddenly had a sense of God's voice saying that someone needed to proclaim this over their situation, relating to your journey through fertility:
The difficulties you face may have been caused by a sexually transmitted disease, as a result of life choices you have made... this is NOT God's punishment, take back what the enemy has stolen from you. It may be caused by a hereditary illness passed on from the generations before, this is NOT God's plan, take back what the enemy has stolen from you. It may be caused by a build up of toxins in your body, like Endometriosis or PCOS, God is your healing, take back what the enemy has stolen.
Whatever the reason for our battle to conceive, the enemy is trying to steal your hope, your peace, your joy, your sense of excitement for life - do not let him, take back what he has stolen. God gave them to YOU. They are freely available for you through Yeshua. Don't let the enemy steal what God has placed in your life - take back what he has stolen, proclaim the truth,  stomp around if you have to, and celebrate that one day, you WILL testify "Look What the Lord Has Done"!!!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Like a Slap in the Face

Don't you just hate it, when you're just doing life, minding your own business, when suddenly the grief of the struggle to conceive slaps you in the face... usually at the most awkward moments... or is it just me!

Hubby and I had taken my Stepson out for the day over the weekend. We thought it would be fun to visit a local farm attraction, and it was! We had so much fun together. But literally about an hour after lunch, I suddenly had this huge overwhelming desire to burst into tears. As I looked around me I was literally surrounded by families with babies and toddlers - some of the kids resembling so strongly their mum or dad. I looked at Hubby and his boy, and there is absolutely no denying they are father and son.

I wondered what my own Bubba would be like, whether he or she would resemble me physically or in character. I then wondered how much fun my Bubba would have and how I would be able to talk to my Bubba about the animals, and of how God created them. We could have petted them together, fed them together and done the things I saw mum's doing with their precious little ones. And what Hubby was doing with his son. I could have shared in a more intimate way, the excitement of my Bubba as a lovebird landed on his or her hand, the exuberance of whizzing down the bumpy slide, the joy at watching the meerkats playing together, the laughter as he or she tried to stroke one of the pesky chickens... as a step parent, I really felt outside the "family bond" which I was supposed to be a part of.

The impact of this came up so suddenly, without warning, without me actively thinking along those lines, and the accompanying grief was immense. Unexpected in the middle of a brilliant day trip. It was all I could do to hold back the tears, right there in the middle of muddy puddles, in my wellies, surrounded by all these families on the farm.

Hubby was brilliant. He sensed almost as soon as I was aware of my emotional state, what was happening within me. He didn't tell me to "pull myself together" or to "just enjoy the day for what it is" or to "forget about our struggles", he understood that this was suddenly a lot harder than it should have been as a day out together. He held me. He comforted me. He was there for me. He understood.

On the drive home, when Hubby and his son were asleep in the car (both in exactly the same position, head back, mouth open), I finally afforded myself the luxury of the tears which had built up so suddenly. They flowed like streams of grief down my cheeks, my heart ached with the emptiness of my empty arms, my broken body, my unfulfilled womb. The grief allowed to leave my heart, leave my soul and come out into the open. Sometimes, we need to allow ourselves to let it go.

This Journey for Bubba is hard work, and pretending otherwise is to deny the depths of the longing for our own child. Trusting God will work in my impossible situation doesn't mean there won' be times it hurts. Faith is believing God can and will work in this Journey, and until He does, I will work through the days like this when my mind gives me an unexpected slap in the face.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Essence of Herbs Continued

So I have been following this special diet prescribed by the Herbalist for a couple of months now. I know it takes around three months for nutrients and stuff to travel through the body to the developing egg, so I have no idea what impact this is having on my eggs... nor will I ever have any real idea of whether the anti-inflammatory purpose of this diet is actually reducing the inflammation in my Fallopian Tubes. Somehow, I'm not sure the NHS would fund a "I want to see if it's working" scan for me!

What I have noticed though, is that the two periods I have had since starting this have not been as bad as they were before... I mean, the pain is not as intense, the clots have been non-existent and the flow has not been as heavy! For me, this is a positive sign, and for these benefits alone, I can see the purpose in what I am doing, even if I have to avoid the bacon butties Hubby loves to make, or cook another veggie soup, or down that grass juice (bleugh!!) and even though I won't know if my Tubes are clearing. It's just been nice having a "normal" period!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Abba's Arms

I'm glad that a time will come when we can run into the arms of our Heavenly Father. Because when that day arrives, I just want to run into His arms and cry out to Him, "Abba, why did it take so long? Why for some women does having a baby happen so quickly, so easily; but for others it takes so long and involves so much heartache and sorrow?"

I know that as He answers, He will wipe away my tears, heal the ache in my heart and remove the painful memory of each month's lost potential.  

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Lord Did It

I came across one of those verses which is quite challenging to read. It is one of those verses which literally makes you re-read it, to double-check you hadn't misread it.
1 Samuel 1:5 "...although the Lord had closed her womb."
What?? Wait??? The Lord did it???

It's an uncomfortable verse to read. When you're a Christian, we have this perception that our lives should be uncomplicated! So how am I supposed to deal with the reality of a verse like this one???
My desire is for Bubba... That desire is deep in my heart, where the Spirit of the Lord Himself resides. He knows my deepest longing to become Bubba's Mumma. And yet... He has closed my womb.

If we believe life is created at the say so of our Almighty Creator God, then this uncomfortable concept has to be accepted too. Why He chooses to close one woman's womb, or open another is known only to Him. Maybe it's about timing, like in the case of John the Baptist's Mum who had to wait until the time of Yeshua's time to be born...any earlier, any later and the 'Voice of one crying in the desert' would have been silent. Maybe it's about God demonstrating His great power and authority over a situation - where humanity fails, God steps in to do the impossible in our lives, according to the plan He has for you and me.

The worst thing to do would be to deny the Lord's hand on your life, even with this difficult idea of Him being the one who has closed your womb. That is why we know that there is a hope and a purpose in asking Him to open our womb and to grant to us the gift of our Bubba. We can go to the One who gives life and know that He is the ONLY One who can actually do something about it.

Don't lose heart, wherever your journey is taking you. God may have closed your womb for a time, but His delay is not a definite NO forever... It may be taking time, but He knows when the time is right for your Bubba... Who else knows the destiny in the seed you and your Hubby are carrying!!!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Journey Buddy

About a month ago, a friend and I met up for a good old catch up and chin wag over dinner. I'd not seen her for years, and we'd lost touch for a while, but God knew when I was time for us to "find" each other again. Since we started to communicate again, I have been so blessed by her encouragement and support as I walk this journey. She knows what to say, how to pray and understands completely what I am going through - because she is walking her own path on a similar journey. 

You know what, it was so good being able to just talk without needing to explain anything, with someone who just "gets it".. the obsession with our monthly cycle, the obsession with what foods to eat at what time of the month, the obsession with peeing on sticks... and the obsession with the wonder-app which is the literal holder of the mid-cycle calendar... ("yes it's OK to go out tonight" or "We are staying in and going to bed tonight!!"). 

We spent the night comparing our apps, sharing our stories and had a real hearty laugh at some of the things we do... Bicycle after intimacy, bum on a pillow... not moving for at least 30 minutes... The "advice" we have been given... avoiding certain foods / smoky environments / mother's day services when one cycle ends and a new one begins. Only someone who has been there can laugh with you at such antics, and cry with you at the depth of our pain!

If anyone passing our table had heard any of our conversation, they might have blushed at times, but between us, there was the freedom for us to just relax and let it all out. I know I needed that. I needed to have someone I can just talk about all the embarrassing things which make up this journey, without worrying about what I was saying, because not many people know how to handle a situation like ours, and they never know what to say. 

We both studied the menu carefully... I was toward the end of my cycle, so wanted to eat something like a steak, with it high iron content, whereas she was recently after ovulation, and still wanted a steak. Normally when Hubby and I go out, he doesn't care why I want something - he just wants to know what I want. Needless to say, neither of us had alcohol.... JUST in case this was the month (Turned out it wasn't for either of us).

But the thing with having Christian friends on the same journey, is that we were able to encourage one another with the Word of God, shared the things God has spoken to us about for our journey's and remind ourselves that in spite of all we are going through, we can each recognise the blessing of God in our lives. This is not an easy aspect of walking through this journey. In all honesty, there are times when I really don't want to think on anything EXCEPT the fact that I don't have a child! If I'm really honest, there are times when nothing else really seems to matter, because wanting to be a Mumma to my own Bubba can become so consuming in my heart and mind, that I retreat into my sorrow and hurt. And there are times when there just is nothing anyone can say... but not everyone understands that, and will say what they think you want to hear. This night was different! This night was a relief!

In those moments, having a Journey Buddy like this is just what I need... and I hope it is vice versa - I know there are times she has sent me a message, so I can pray for her and support her too. It's a two-way support, and as she is about to embark on her next step, she will face some tough days, and I pray the Lord will use me to strengthen her, as He carries her through it. Many times in life, we end up on a route we never ever thought we would have to take, but our Heavenly father knows the end from the beginning and He knows the steps we will have to take. He is our guide, our hope is in Him. He is our strength, our future is in Him.

A Journey Buddy is someone I would highly recommend; if you don't have someone in your life like this, then I earnestly PRAY that God brings someone in your path QUICKLY. The benefit of having someone like this walking with me has been huge, and I thank God for bringing her back into my life. I pray that when she has her Bubba, and I have mine, we will rejoice together when our time of mourning has turned to dancing, and our time of tears reaps the joy of our precious God-given gift - a child. 

We made a promise we would meet again when either of us falls pregnant, and again when we can introduce our Bubba to one another... Until then, I hope she realises through the journey she is on, the challenges she faces, the difficult path she is walking, that I am with her each step of the way... Journey Buddies... pinky promise!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Femail article Frustration

I felt the anger and irritation rising up within me, with each word I read. The selfishness of the article writer was making my blood boil - and the more I read, the more I wanted to stop reading, but like those scenes on TV you really don't want to watch but have to watch, I couldn't bring myself to close the page.

It was only an article in the Femail section of the Daily Mail. But I couldn't believe the arrogant stance of the writer. She was pregnant... with her third child... which was a huge disaster for her and her perfect plans for her perfect family and her perfect future. When she found out she was pregnant she says things like, 
But this pregnancy is the last thing I want. A third baby is the straw that will break the camel’s back, a strain on our balanced, happy family. An abortion is out of the question, obviously. Like it or not, I am going to be a mother again.
‘I’ve ruined everything,’ I weep, my shoulders heaving, as my dreams of sending my two little darlings to exclusive prep schools vanish. Any notion of regularly treating them to regular consignments from Mini Boden is forgotten... would this baby ruin my children's lives?
The horror she felt at being pregnant again, had more to do with her selfish ambition for her careful plans, than it had to do with there being any real issue. I understand that there are women for whom another child would be an absolute no-no, because of genuine reasons, like health issues, or there is a real threat of death to the mother or child, and I know that there are women in countries like China, for whom any more than one child is considered "illegal". But the attitude of this expectant mum STANK!

She tried to redeem herself to women like myself, who are struggling to conceive one child, never mine a second or third, 
I’m all too aware that the many thousands of women out there who are struggling to start a family would give anything to trade places with me. The irony is we battled for years to have our babies.
My medical records read like a gynaecological horror story, with endless fertility drugs, two failed IVFs, one ectopic pregnancy and one miscarriage. I know only too well what it is like to long for a child only to have your hopes dashed month after month.
I can't believe that anyone who has struggles to conceive would take on this attitude toward their pregnancy... if you really didn't want another one, there are contraception methods available to use! But to start to say that this new baby will ruin the lives of his or her siblings, what kind of a start in life is that! Imagine when the child grows up and reads the words this woman has written about them before they were even born?? If that's not going to cause huge rejection issues, I don't know what will! 

I pray that this woman will love her new baby as much as she loves her other children, and that the Lord will protect him or her from knowing how much he or she wasn't wanted... it's not the child's fault he or she was conceived. It is down to the parents who made a baby, but ultimately - it is the plan of the God, who knits us together in out mother's womb... Who chose the point of conception and the moment in time this child will live... I pray that this child - irrespective of his or her family religious background, will become a mighty tool in the hand of God for His Kingdom purposes!

And for every woman who is struggling to conceive, may she know the JOY of finding out she is pregnant within this hard journey she wanders. 

Read the article here, if you really want to!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Grass Juice

It's about a month since I started the new herbal routine. The idea is that I cut out some of the acidic foods from my diet - which include some of my absolute favourite foods, like pork, including the ever so scrummy bacon sarnies and cherry tomatoes... gutted! In fact, the Sunday after I started the diet, Hubby had bought a joint of pork for dinner... Oh my days - the smell was sooo scrumptious, but I reminded myself of the reasons I was no longer eating pork.

The next day, I met a friend in a cafe, and seriously, I swear the cafe had bought a new room fragrance.. bacon butties! The smell was so strong, it travelled up my nose well before I stepped into the building!

And my Mum-in-Law grows her own fruit and veg... and she happened to have harvested a LOT of tomatoes... especially those juicy, sweet cherry tomatoes... Oh man!

But I made a decision to try to eat in such a way to reduce the inflammation in my body which is affecting my ability to conceive. OK, so there's no actual proof it will change anything, but I have to try. I can't sit around carrying on as I was, because only an idiot expects a change to occur where they do the same thing over and over. I may be many things, but an idiot I am not!

There are times when I end up eating one of the "forbidden" foods on my list, like last night when I went to get some toast and my wholemeal bread had gone mouldy - Hubby's white loaf was fine.

And then... there is the additional "grass juice" as Hubby calls it! Oh my days, the taste...! It's not exactly one to enjoy on a summer's evening!!! But I have to keep my eyes on the bigger picture. From the day of the HSG to the day of the operation, things had deteriorated inside my Tubes. In re-addressing the balance of food into my system, who knows if I can reverse the symptoms and, with the help of our Healer God, create an unblocked passage for my egg to meet with Hubby's little swimmers.

There won't be any scientific proof to suggest this would have happened - but I know that with God, nothing is impossible. Where man fails, He succeeds. Where there is no way, He will make a way possible.

So with this in mind... down the hatch with the grass juice!

Thursday, September 26, 2013


I have just come had an appointment with one of my Consultant's team. I wasn't sure what to expect, really - I thought he might want to check my scars from the op and talk about the options open to us, or something. Hubby couldn't make it, as the appointment was brought forward a week following a cancellation, and neither could my Sis-in Law.  So I went alone.

Actually, when I was ushered into the room, the junior doctor seemed to have an agenda... He told me that there is nothing more the NHS can do for me, and my only option is IVF (although he was supposed to have read my notes prior to me walking into the room; if he had, he'd have known IVF is not an an option for me, following the severe reaction to Clomid), and asking me about egg sharing or egg donation, and would I consider it if I pursued IVF.

I politely explained IVF wasn't an option for me. It turns out he's misunderstood the Consultant's notes when he'd read "possible referral to CARE" thinking this meant IVF, when it actually had been in reference to a discussion I'd had with my Consultant about Natural IVF... he stopped talking about egg sharing!

He then told me that as the NHS had nothing more they could do for me, I was being discharged. His nurse handed me a leaflet on CARE, in case I did want to look into Natural IVF later down the line, then he told me to "take care".

I was so glad I had my heels on, there's just something about a good pair of high - skyscraper high - heels to make you walk tall after a blow like that. Being discharged brought home the reality of the chapter closing. The door slamming in my face. While I was still "on the books" (so to speak), it felt like there had still been a glimmer of something being left open for me... somehow... even though I knew in reality there wasn't. Daft, I know!

I reckon when I left the room, the consultant and the nurse looked at each other like, "why was she so calm??" OK, so it wasn't just the shoes... The shalom of Jesus kept me from bursting into tears at that moment. Knowing that God has spoken to me, that He will make a way for Bubba, where science and medicine has fallen short, that's what held me together when I left the hospital.

I treated myself to a Costa coffee and muffin and left... this is the last appointment I will have in relation to the fertility problems I have been having. Hopefully the next time I enter, will be as the Journey for Bubba ends and the Journey with Bubba begins...

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Essence of Herbs

I was talking to a friend of mine about the failed operation. She had walked this journey about 20 years ago, and went on to have three children, so I felt safe enough to talk to her about my frustration about what had happened. We were at a friend's hen-do (lunch on the river, thank you very much!!) so it was quite funny having this conversation and trying to not burst into tears!!

She told me about a place near where she lives which specialises in Herbal Treatment for various conditions, and where science has failed, maybe I should look at other options. Normally, this kind of thing would have sent me running in totally the opposite direction, but she explained that the family had been running their clinic for over a hundred years, and that there were members of the family who were Messianic Jewish Believers.

So, I checked out the website, and read about each of the consultants. It turns out that one of them has actually chosen to focus her training and research specifically in fertility issues. I thought I might as well go and speak to her, she maybe able to help me feel like I was taking some control of the situation.

I spoke to Hubby about it, but he wasn't so keen. He suggested I seek the Lord's will in this, and wait a month before going. So I made an appointment for four weeks after we had spoken, and asked the Lord to make it clear to me if I should not go. But didn't hear anything. Except Hubby's hesitation.

On the day of the appointment, I made my way to Leicester and arrived at the Clinic in good time. I checked in and took a seat in the waiting room. On the wall there was a map of the UK and a map of the world, and people had stuck pins in to represent where they had come from. The appeal of this small family-run Herbal Clinic was world-wide.

My consultant came to meet me from the waiting room, and led me into her consultation room. It looked just like a doctor's surgery room with the medical bed, a desk, scales etc... this actually made me relax a bit actually, it was a familiar environment.

She then asked all kinds of questions and I answered them, explaining about the tests I'd had, the clomid allergy, the failed operation, the endo... she went through everything about my lifestyle habits, my cycle, diet etc... Then she checked my glucose levels, my iron levels, and blood pressure. She then asked me to lie on the bed while she checked my abdomen (using techniques reminiscent of an old film, where the doctor taps his hands on the back of her hand over various parts of the abdomen!).

She said she thought that I may have endo with a hint of PCOS (looking at the huge acne outbreak on my face and chest, the spots reminded her of PCOS sufferers plus I'd told her about my Mother's PCOS issues). She suggested we try a diet which cuts out acidic foods, to try to help my body fight against the inflammation within my tubes. She listed some of my favourite foods which were acidic and which I should avoid... pork (no more bacon butties!!), strawberries, chocolate, white bread / pasta / rice etc... and said she would give me a mixture of liquid and tablets which would supplement this.

After an hour, I was led back to the waiting room, and waited for my prescription to be made up. When I asked what would be in it, she said she would need to work it out once I had finished my consultation, but if I really wanted to know, I could email her. I am yet to send her the email though - I kinda got the feeling that she would prefer to not give this information, in case I just get my own (cheaper) version!

After about 15 minutes, I was handed a big bottle of brown liquid, and a tube of pale brown tablets... oh, and a very very BIG bill... I was expecting it to be a fair amount, but the invoice was waaaay more than I had anticipated!

"That's OK" the reception replied breezily, "you can pay on a weekly basis!"
"But I only get paid monthly, so would be able to pay any more until next month... and probably the month after that!"
"That's OK, just pay what you can now, and then the rest as and when you can."

So now, I have a ban on chocolate, an unhappy Hubby, and no chance to buy any shoes for the next two months, till I pay off this bill...

"At least it's cheaper than IVF!" I explained to Hubby after telling him about the new debt...

But, I'm not sure I can keep this treatment up for long!

Monday, August 19, 2013

God's Whisper Into My Broken Heart

I wasn't sure about sharing this, but I would like one day, when Bubba is conceived, I would like to use this to reflect on the Journey the Lord has led me on with Bubba when he or she is old enough to understand how God has planned him or her. 

A few weeks ago, a member of the Church, who is in the same Home Group, called me one Sunday morning, as she'd had a word from the Lord for me. I was going to Church in the evening, and as I was still recovering from the op, I'd decided to only attend the one service. Anyway, she called me after lunch and blew me away with what she shared with me:

She told me she had been praying for me during the morning while she was getting ready for Church, and while she was praying the Lord gave her a picture - a revelation. She said she saw me watching TV, watching the news reports of the new Royal baby's arrival. She said that as she watched me, watching TV, I was wiping tears from my eyes. She said she was taken back to the time in her life when she was trying for a baby, for a son she had been told she would never had, and experienced an overwhelming grief with me as she had felt back then. Then as the reports came to and end, and another programme came on, I shook my hair and wiped my face as if to say "Right then. That's it! Time to just move on with things."

She said after showing her this picture, He told her to tell me two things. One: He is Creator, and His speciality is in new creation. Two: He has not taken me off the mother list.

What this lady didn't know was that Hubby and I were trying for Bubba, and that I had just had an operation to unblock my Fallopian tubes, which had failed. When I said this to her, she said she had always seen me as a career woman with goals and ambition, and had not been confident enough to share the picture with me, without first checking it with our Home Group leader (who knows our situation). 

Neither did she know that the picture the Lord had shown her was EXACTLY how I had been during all the wall-to-wall news reports were being broadcast about the new royal arrival. As I prayed for the new baby and his royal parents, I felt overwhelming grief about my own situation, as I tried to come to terms with the abandoned op I'd had a few days earlier. 

And only the Lord knew how close I was to giving up hope of ever becoming Mumma to our own Bubba. Where science has failed me, God won't. He restored my hope for the future of having Bubba...and my hope for a future, full stop. 

I don't know how long we will have to wait - because God doesn't always reveal a time frame. But He has given me a glimpse into the work He is doing behind the scenes for Hubby and me. God IS the Creator of life - and where my Fallopian tubes have become blocked and are failing at this moment in time, God knows how to bypass this and to make a way for Bubba to be conceived where there seems to be absolutely no way. He is God. He will make a way through for the right sperm to connect with a healthy egg, and for a healthy Bubba to be conceived, implanted and develop. 

Thank You Lord for for whispering Your words of comfort and love, of a hope and a future into me broken heart. Thank You for the faithfulness of women like this who You are able to bring revelation and prophecy to, because they seek Your face. I pray for anyone reading this who needs this kind of encouragement for their own Journey for Bubba, that You would also whisper Your love, comfort, hope and future into their broken hearts, in Jesus' name.

Dehydrated Feet

I don't know what it was, but after my stint in the hospital following my op, I noticed my feet - which were normally OK - became really dry. Maybe it was the result of not having anything to drink for so long leading up to the procedure, my body became dehydrated. I don't know. But they were awful!! I know some people have an issue with feet, but I normally love my feet, but for weeks, they were an embarrassment to me!!

I literally tried everything I could think of, to try and sort them out... My mum had even bought me one of those Ped Egg things... but even this didn't seem to help!

I then came across Palmer's Foot Magic... at the risk of sounding like a bad advert... It is brilliant!! After the first time of using it, putting my little cotton socks on, already my feet look like their old selves!!! I'm not quite so ashamed of them, and wish I'd found this stuff earlier.

If you are facing an op where you can't eat or drink prior to the procedure, and your body has the potential to become dehydrated - invest in some kind of foot loving cream / lotion / / treatment / mask... your feet will love you for it!! Prevention is better than cure!

I'd had no idea that my feet would have been affected by dehydration like they were - or I believe them to have been. In all the pre-op stuff, there was no warning, which is why I thought I'd let you know!!

Bad advert over!! Lol!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Stitches Removed

It's been five weeks since the op... five weeks since my body was invaded by surgeons trying to help me. Five weeks since the stitches - which were supposed to be dissolving by themselves within a couple of weeks - have finally been removed. Finally!!

The pain has drastically reduced! And what a huge blessing!!! 

I don't know why the stitches didn't dissolve... the first thought which comes to mind is, "Did they put the wrong type in??" The second is, "Why didn't they dissolve??" I may not ever really know - an internet search doesn't really offer much of a suggestion. One of the stitches had become stuck, as the wounds were healing around it - which was the most painful one for the nurse to remove!

But in light of the discomfort and pain caused by the stitches having become hard, pulling on my skin when I moved, catching on my clothing - the removal of them was so bearable!

Now, hopefully, the wounds can heal easily, properly and without much scarring. Although every single one of those scars I will show to Bubba when he or she eventually arrives, to show the lengths Hubby and I went to, for Bubba to be conceived. Every single one of those scars will show our child how much we wanted him or her, and how much he or she is loved. Every scar will tell the story back to Bubba.

In the same way, every scar Jesus endured on the cross, tells the story to each one of us of His love for us, and how valuable we are to Him. Every scar tells the story of the lengths Jesus went through, to ensure we would be adopted into His family, through the decision we make to follow Him. Every scar - our story.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Stitches Still Haven't Dissolved

So, it's almost five weeks since I had the op, and since I was told the stitches were dissolvable and would disappear on their own in about 2-3 weeks. Five weeks since I was discharged from the hospital, and told to visit my local nurse if I had any problems. Obviously, the infection was something the GP had to sort out rather than the nurse, and I wonder if that has affected the dissolving of the stitches. I'm also slightly concerned as I have to wonder if the fact there is an issue with the external stitches could be an indication of the internal ones as well? How would anyone know??

I called my local GP to fix an appointment with the nurse last week, but they were fully booked and I had to wait till this week. I did have the opportunity to speak to the nurse though, only for her to tell me that with them being dissolvable stitches, she couldn't touch them, and she referred me back to the outpatients. They referred me back to the nurse... have you ever felt like a tennis ball???

I spoke to the nurse this morning though, and she said she is happy to look at them knowing the hospital have absolved themselves of all responsibility of me. Yippee me!

In the meantime though... the pain as the stitches pull - at least I hope that's what's happening, but as a non-medical-type person, I have no idea what is happening... I just feel the incredibly sharp stab of pain at odd times when I move. Like on Saturday when we went for a walk, and on our way back to the car walked back up the hill we'd walked (run/fallen!!!) down... Ouch!! The stitches weren't so keen on that action. And then today, as I was doing a big clean... again, Ouch!!! The stitches made their protest felt. I can kind of understand those actions affecting them. But then after dinner, as I stood to take my stuff into the kitchen... Ouch! Like, seriously... why?? Down went the paracetamol, and up went the hope the nurse will make it all better when I see her on Wednesday.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Encouragement From an Unbelieving Relative

Hubby and I visited his Nana for dinner. She had bought a bunch of flowers for me, to cheer me up. But then she said something which took me by surprise. It was the kind of statement Christians usually say to each other, but as she is not a Christian, I kind of felt that there was more to it.

She said to me, "I felt so sad for you when I heard the operation hadn't worked, I really did. But don't give up, flower, I don't believe that's the end of the road for you. I know miracles do happen, and I think that's what's going to happen for you - a miracle."

As I said, the fact that she is not a Christian meant more to me that she had said this, and I hope and pray that the Lord will show her how her words of faith are part of the miracle journey I seem to be on.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Slamming Doors, But The Still Small Voice Whispers

So as I was talking to God one morning, I was asking Him whether what I had gone through actually had a purpose. The laparoscopic salpingostomy hadn't worked, and it feels like the whole Journey for Bubba is coming undone. I don't know how to rescue the hope for Bubba. 

I listed the various doors which had been slammed shut in my face:

  • I'm over 35. SLAM!
  • Hubby and I have been trying for our own child, but after two years, are still childless. SLAM!
  • I have a blocked Fallopian Tube. SLAM!
  • The laparoscopic salpingostomy which was supposed to unblock it was abandoned. SLAM!
  • I tried to take the fertility drug Clomid to stimulate development of the eggs, but had a severe allergic reaction to it. SLAM!
  • The Consultant had told me that my only option, really, was IVF. SLAM!
  • If IVF was ethically an option for me, if Hubby hadn't already had a son and I was eligible for the free treatment, I wouldn't be able to anyway because of my allergy to Clomid. SLAM!
  • Natural IVF is still expensive, and doesn't have a hugely successful live birth rate. SLAM!

OK, seriously God, what is going on here?????????

A still, small voice whispered, "I am clearing the way to demonstrate My power and authority over your situation."

When there are no other doors open, this has to mean God, who is able to do the impossible, HAS to step in to do what only He can do. I have no other options to take. No other routes to travel. No other doors to walk through. Only God can make it possible for me to meet my own Bubba. I just need to find the door that leads to the faith and hope that God will do what is impossible.

Many have said to me, "what about adoption?" Bt to be honest, I don't want to be a Mumma for the sake of being  a Mumma. I want to be Mumma to Bubba who is born out of the love and committment Hubby and I share in our marriage. That's the only kind of Mumma I want to be.

Now, where is that open door!

Infected Wound.. Hope Restored

When I took off the dressing, I knew something wasn't right. Maybe it was the unpleasant aroma. Maybe the crusty yellow stuff. Maybe it was the weeping stuff. Either which way, I knew I had to go to the doctor to get it checked.

And yep, my suspicions were correct! One of the wounds from the surgery had become infected. Lovely! At least this explained the prolonged pain in that particular area! Although, following the news reports the day after I was discharged from the hospital about 14 hospitals being put on special measures, I shouldn't have been surprised... mine was one of the four which had been placed on the extra special emergency measures!!!

Anyway, the doctor I saw nearly had me in tears. He was a new or temporary doctor who I hadn't seen before. When he realised what I'd had done, and the fact that the surgeon had had to abandon the procedure, he kindly asked me what they had advised they could do for me now. I told him about my allergy to Clomid and that IVF was off the table. We spoke about Natural IVF (me explaining what it was to him!!) for a while, and then he prescribed me with antibiotics to clear the infection.

In talking to him, I realised how dangerously close to feeling depressed I was. Not the sadness at the situation, but at my sense of hopelessness at it. I am sad, of course, at the failed surgery, and the apparent hopelessness of the future chances for Bubba. But if I know God, and I do, then He has promised He has a hope and a future for me. At this stage, I have no idea what it looks like. But in the midst of my hopelessness, I have to hold on to the hope I have in Him.

Phew... this faith thing is hard! I don't know what to hope for, at this stage. But I do know God is upholding me as He gently leads me. He is my hope. He is my shalom. He is my future.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Baby Dedication at Church

After being away from Church whilst I was recovering from the op, I made a conscious decision to go back after the third week. I'd really missed being in the presence of God, and around my Church family, although I knew rumours were rife, and I was slightly dreading being bombarded with lots of questions.

We arrived late, partly because I wanted to avoid people with their questions!! It was great to be able to join in with the worship again!

But then, it was announced that one of the families were dedicating their two daughters!!! I mean seriously, that couldn't have been done while I was off. I wrestled within myself the idea of walking out to avoid being faced with the baby and her older sister. I mean really wrestled.

But then, I decided to stay, for two reasons.
1. God knew the dedication was that morning, and He knew it was my first week back after the failed op. He would have to give me the strength to get through the next 10 minutes.
2. It wasn't the family's fault I was going through what I am going through. As a member of the same Church, I should be able to rejoice with those who are rejoicing.

It wasn't easy. I had to fight back tears, but God was faithful and remained close to me as I prayed for the family. If this was a test, it was an unfair one!!! But I hope I was able to demonstrate the light of Jesus in that situation.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Understanding Jacob's Rachel

I'm a woman. What other purpose do I have, if I cannot give my husband children. I look at my sister, his other wife, and she has practically birthed a whole village as his heritage. And my maidservant, along with her maidservant followed suit - but he is my husband. In fact, it seems like every women - slave and free - around me is either pregnant or with babies and children hanging off their skirts. Every woman except me.

All my life, I have been preparing for womanhood... by womanhood, I mean motherhood, for the two are inseparable. That's what Ima* always taught as I was growing up. Everything I was taught was about looking after my husband, and looking after my children. It's the way Adonai designed my body. For motherhood. Everything was about motherhood. I just sit and watch the women around me fulfilling their purpose and being mothers. And my heart aches, for I cannot. I have not fulfilled my purpose as a woman. What other reason am I here except to give my Husband an heir... except my sister has beaten me to that, a few times over. I can't even give him a daughter to dote on, for she beat me to that too!

What else is there for me. I might as well have not been born. I have no future. My story, my heritage will die with me when I am dead. I can't even do that one thing which Ima told me was natural for every woman. Oh Lord, who am I? 

Jacob, give me children or else I should die. I have no purpose to you. I have nothing to offer you. GIVE ME A CHILD!

I don't know who I should be. There is no reason for my husband to be lumbered with me if I have no children to give him. I am cursed. I am not blessed. He is of a blessed heritage! I remember the stories he shared with me about his Grandfather, Abraham, and his father, Isaac. Of the blessing of Adonai. Of the promises He gave for the future heritage He would bless them with. I am so obviously outside of that blessing, I might as well not even be here. Oh Adonai, that You would release me from this life. That You would release my husband from the burden of my barrenness. Oh Adonai, that You would take away this pain of not fulfilling the basic purpose for which You created me. Oh Adonai, I would rather die than never be a mother. 

Remember your husband's grandmother, Sarah.
Rachel, remember her story.
Remember how I redeemed her, fulfilled My purpose in her.
Do not fear, Rachel. Do not wish away your life. For greater things are yet to be birthed through you. Shalom, My daughter. Breathe in My Shalom.

*Ima is the Hebrew word for Mother

Lord, If You Are Willing...

The night following my release from the hospital, I was lying in bed. Completely numb from the news, with no real idea of how to process what the Surgeon had said. About how my procedure had been abandoned. How was I supposed to deal with this.

Lord, I told you I didn't want to go through this Operation if it wasn't necessary. Why am I lying here in pain from a surgery which didn't even work? How is this part of Your plan for my life?

And then, over and over, the following words just kept repeating in my mind... unrelenting:
"Lord, if You are willing, I know You are able*."

Even as Hubby came and spoke to me, he was saying a similar kind of thing, that although we may not understand what God's purpose is in all this, He is still God, and He is more than able to make a way for Bubba, where it seems like an absolute impossibility. And as Hubby spoke, over and over the same prayer, "Lord, if You are willing, I know You are able."

(*This is a verse found in Matthew 8:2, Mark 1:40 and Luke 5:12, when a man with leprosy approaches Jesus and says to Him, "Lord, if You are willing, I know You can make me clean")

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Laparoscopic Salpingostomy - Recovery

I know every woman's body is different, so my experiences probably won't be the same for everyone. This is just to give you an idea of how my body handled the recovery.

During the first 48 hours, I was coughing up blood, this as from the tube which was put down my throat during the operation, and is normal. It was quite dark, to start off with, but then became lighter. If it had continued, or had remained darker for longer, I'd have had to have it checked out, as this could be indicative of a chest infection, which can sometimes happen after an op.

About 3 days after the op, I was sat talking with my Sis-in-Law, and noticed a slight discomfort in my right shoulder. This was expected, as a result of the gas they use, to expand the abdomen, trying to escape. During the night while I was at the hospital, I did have a lot of gas escaping...!

I had some bloody discharge for about 5/6 days after the op. Again, this is normal, bearing in mind the area they were looking at and trying to operate on.

The sore throat from the tube lasted for about 10 days. I found I needed to drink a lot more than usual, to try and soothe my throat...and ice cream helped too!!! ;-)  But for the first couple of days, I mostly ate things which were soft and easy to swallow, after the issues with the toast on the ward!

I had three incisions in my abdomen. The one in the belly button is definitely the worst. The other two I hardly noticed. The nurse had changed the dressings before I left, as they were pretty yucky. I asked about showering and stuff, and she recommended I wash for the first few days, but then showering would be fine. She said, "Not the bath though, as this can increase risk of infection." The dressings were fine when washing, and when showering.

I took the dressings off the two "other" cuts after about a week, and kept checking the wounds and the stitches. As they were below my knicker line, I didn't really pull them or notice any issues. Two weeks on, the stitches haven't yet dissolved and the incisions seem to be healing well. The dressing over the belly button I tried to take off after a week as well, but noticed it had been weeping. I put on the spare dressing I had been given, to keep it covered, and also to protect my t-shirts!!! White t-shirts!!! I took off the dressing after 14 days, and it looks OK, though obviously isn't as clear as the other two cuts.

Internally though, I have no idea of how things are going. One of my friends who'd had a Laparoscopic salpingostomy a few months before me, advised me to make sure I rested, and to not lift anything heavier than a filled kettle. I found it easier when I was able to stretch out, and as Hubby and I have recliner sofas, this was easy to achieve, The nurse had said I would feel as though I wanted to hunch over as the wounds were healing, but to not do this. There were random times, like when washing up, or just standing talking to Hubby, when I would get sharp stabbing pains internally, and found myself hunching over.

For the first couple of days, getting in and out of bed was made easier by pressing a cushion, or a folded sheet on my belly as I sat up and stood up. This was something shown when I'd attended that per-op afternoon. And the cushion-thing helped a lot whenever I was in pain. On day 8, I went with Hubby to the shop across the road, and carried a couple of items back, but found when I got home I was in pain. On day 10, my Sis-in-Law picked me up and took me back to hers for a change of scenery. I found that quite uncomfortable, but using a cushion pressed against my belly helped, both while we were watching Kathrine Jenkins on tele, and in the car on the way home. On day 14, I tried to drive, thinking things would be OK, but after making a five minute journey into town with Hubby, and back, I was in agony with internal pains. I also tried to wear a pair of jeans - after 2 weeks in leggings and trakkie bottoms, which is sooooo not me - but found they were digging into the area where I was getting the most discomfort internally.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Laparoscopic Salpingostomy - The Result

So, I guessed something was wrong from the Nurse's response.
Turns out something was very wrong.

The Consultant explained to me what should have happened. Most blockages occur near the top of the Fallopian Tube, near the ovaries. Which can be operated on. Some blockages are in the middle of the Tube, which can also be operated on.

Then he said, "We tried to locate the blockage using the dye, ran multiple tests to try and find the source, so we could work on it for you. But we were not successful. The blockage in your case is much worse than we had expected. Your Tubes are blocked near the uterus, which I cannot access. I had to abandon the surgery. I am so sorry, this is really disappointing and not the news I wanted to give you both."

It turns out I had been in the operating theatre for more than double the allocated time, and the Surgeon had tried many different ways to try to sort out my Tubes.

It was such a shock. I was in tears. I wasn't expecting this. In all the preparation for the op, I had never once been told. or ever considered that the op wouldn't work and they would have to "abandon" the procedure. I had no idea how to process this. I had no idea how to respond.

"So does that mean we may never be successful?" I asked.

"I would never say never. The sperm is only minute, and doesn't require lots of space in order to travel toward the egg. But you are at high risk of an ectopic pregnancy, and as soon as you get pregnant, you would need to be checked. The best chance you have, really, is IVF."

"Is there anywhere which does Natural IVF?"

"Are you asking because of your problems with Clomind?"

I nodded.

"There is one place in Nottingham, which I can refer you to, if this is the route you choose to take. Think about it, once you have had a chance to recover from this, and from the shock. And if you do want me to refer you, just call."

I was numb.
My brother had accompanied Hubby, and he was gutted. "I'm so sorry Sis"

I think I spent most of the rest of the day in tears. How on earth am I supposed to even begin to deal with this news???? The Op had been abandonded. That was the actual word on the letter which my GP will receive. Abandoned. My body is soooo not as it should be. It seemed that along with the Surgeon... God had also abandoned my hopes of becoming Mumma.

Laparoscopic Salpingostomy - The Day Arrives

OK, so the idea of this is to give anyone who is facing their own Laparoscopic Salpingostomy procedure an idea of what to expect. 

I tried to stay in bed as long as I possibly could. Pulling the covers over my head in the hope that I could prolong the day a little. But alas, life doesn't work like that!

I was soon up, packed and ready for my Sister-in-Law to take me to the hospital. I was booked in for 11:30am ready for an afternoon procedure, which meant I couldn't eat after 8am. I'd actually woken up at around 7am, and made myself a slice of toast, just because I knew it was going to be a long day.

We arrived at the hospital and made our way to the Out Patients clinic. I had originally been booked onto the ward, but when I attended the pre-op assessment, it had been suggested I attend as a Day Patient instead of going on the ward. With hindsight, I wish I'd stuck with the original plan, as it would have meant Hubby could have stayed with me the whole time.

We went into the Outpatient Clinic and were invited to take a seat in the lounge area. A TV was playing the final hour of This Morning in the background, while my Sis-in-Law tried to distract me. After a few moments, a nurse came into the lounge and called my name. She introduced herself and said she would be looking after me for the day. I was led into the Outpatients Ward. It was basically a large room with three trolley beds across one wall, and four reclining chairs opposite. I was invited to take a seat in one of the chairs. There were two other ladies in the room, one coming around from her procedure, and the other was nervously waiting for hers.

The nurse explained that I would be speaking to the anaesthetist, but that I could go back out into the lounge to wait with Hubby and Sis-in-Law, if I wanted to. I texted Hubby and asked him to wait while I met with the anaesthetist. After about ten minutes, the anaesthetist came to see me, and invited me to follow her to her office. She spoke through the procedure, and reassured me that she would be with me the whole time. She described how I would be given the anaesthetic and monitored throughout the whole operation, to check I was OK, unconscious and not in pain! We discussed the difficulty my asthma may present, especially in light of the difficulty my Mother had when she'd undergone a hysterectomy (you will be asked about blood relatives having any problems with the anaesthetic, and my Mother had stopped breathing during her op) Then I went back out into the Lounge - This Morning was just finishing!

Sis-in-Law had left by this time, Hubby said he was staying until I was led back through for the actual procedure. I was so glad to have him there, I was becoming more anxious as time drew on, and his hand to hold was such a reassurance, especially as I knew he would have to leave.

The nurse came back and invited me into an office so she could go through a few final checks, including the pee test - even though I'd told her I was just finishing my monthly!! She check blood pressure, pulse rate etc. and checked through my information. She asked me, "So, why are you having this procedure?" in a very 'conspiratorial' kind of a tone, like we were friends discussing famous actors we might like! I told her Hubby and I had been trying for a family and it was hoped this would help to unblock my Tubes. I don't think she realised how old I actually am, until she looked at my date of birth! She reassured me that the Surgeon would do everything he could, and that he had scheduled me in for my operation last, which meant he wanted to take his time with me. She also said that he had requested a bed be booked for me overnight. As she ran the tests, we discussed the usual distraction questions about my job!

Hubby had nipped out to get us some drinks, and I asked if I had to stop drinking (Nil by mouth after a certain time) and she affirmed that now I had seen her, I couldn't eat or drink anything.

Hubby went to get himself some lunch, actually, we asked if we could both go for a walk, but the receptionist asked if I had seen the Consultant yet. When I said I hadn't, she asked me to wait in the waiting room until I had spoken with him. So Hubby went to get himself a sandwich while I waited. Alone. Watching the Hungry Sailors. Feeling hungry as I wasn't allowed to eat. Watching Hubby munch his lunch.

A little while later, a woman entered pushing a baby into the Lounge area. It turns out she was one of the nurses in the Outpatient Clinic who was on maternity. Oh... and then she was joined by a second new mum, also on maternity. They had come to show off their babies to their colleagues, and every member of the Ward come out to see the new arrivals.

The nurse came back through and said that the Consultant was in the area, and would be ready to speak with me shortly. Hubby and I were led into an office where we waited for about 20 mins. The nurse came back and apologised because the Consultant had left to operate on his next patient without coming through. Hubby wasn't impressed, but got a coffee out of it.

We were told that the procedure was booked in for an hour and ten minutes, at the end of the day. But the nurse couldn't tell us when I would be called through. So we went back out to the Lounge.

At around 3pm (Dickinson's Real Deal was just starting!), the nurse came to take me through to the ward, and to the bed which I could call "home" for the time I was in the hospital. Hubby was allowed to accompany me, to carry the bag with my overnight stuff which you are advised to bring. But he couldn't stay with me. So he gave me a hug, prayed for me and left.

I changed into one of those gorgeously fashionable hospital gowns, (the nurse had said, "please take off everything, including your underwear", but I decided to keep on my knickers until the last possible moment!!), put on my dressing gown, and sat on the bed. There were three other beds, but two other women in the ward with me. One had the curtain around her, she was still sleeping after her op. The other was dressed and as I waited, she had some relatives arrive, ready to take her home when she was discharged. the other bed had obviously been wheeled away with the third woman, as her belongings were neatly arrayed on the chair and bed table in her absence.

I sat reading for a while. And texted Hubby.

After about half an hour, a young female porter came to get me. I went to the toilet, removed my undies, and returned to the bed. I wasn't sure whether to sit on it, or lie down on it, while she wheeled me to the operating room. I chose to sit, and used a blanket to cover my legs. I really don't know how this young woman managed to wheel such a huge bed with me sitting on it. We narrowly avoided hitting one door, and I held open another for her!

It was at this point I suddenly became very afraid and very overwhelmed by what was happening, and with what was about to happen. I started to cry. I think part of it is that there is no control over what was happening to me. I was in the control of these professionals. I was incredibly vulnerable. And whilst I was under the anaesthetic, I would be completely vulnerable to whoever was in the operating room. This was really scary. Plus I wasn't sure about how intense the pain would be after. I reassured myself the God was with me, and that this would be OK, because it would increase the chance for Hubby and I to conceive.

The porter noticed I was upset, so she was really lovely. She wheeled me into the pre-op holding room (there was a gentleman on a bed already in there), and fetched a tissue for me, she then spoke to me and tried to reassure me that everything would be OK.

I was asked to move from the bed I'd been wheeled in on, to the actual operation trolley bed. After a few minutes, the anaethetist I had met earlier came over to my bed, and continued to reassure me while the tears kept falling. Uninvited!!

Then I was wheeled out of the holding room. My heart started pounding - and was much quicker than it had been up til this point! My Consultant came toward me at this point and helped with wheeling the bed. He was speaking to me about how he would do his best for me, and hopefully to help make Hubby and my dreams for a baby become a reality. I was taken into a little room where there were about four other people. Another anaethetist guy and some others... I don't remember who they were, even though I was introduced to each of them! The anaethetist guy started to squeeze my arm, in order to bring up the veins in my arm. He was very sweet and apologized for hurting me. I replied, "It's OK, you're not hurting me as much as she is about to!", indicating the Main anaethetist who had a needle in her hand and was inserting the cannula. She spoke about each stage before she did it, so I would know what they were doing. When she was about to administer the anaesthetic, she said, "You will feel a slight ache, and coldness in your arm as the anaesthetic goes in."

After that, I don't remember anymore. I know, because my consultant had told me beforehand, that I would have some of the same blue dye used during the HSG inserted to allow him to see where the blockage was.

Until I remember people shouting my name. And pain in my abdomen.

I opened my eyes, and saw the anaesthetist over me, trying to wake me. I noticed there was a clock above her head - it was 7:10pm. There were questions of "are you in pain". But I couldn't answer because of the pain, and just nodded my head. I tried to indicate it was my belly, and ended up crying because it hurt so much. There were like two different types of pain. One like a really really bad period cramps, and the other like sharp stabbing pains. They administered some morphine. I think I went back to sleep, because they were shouting my name again, "Does it still hurt?" I nodded, the tears still falling out o f my eyes, which I couldn't open. Someone said, "I've given her x amount of Morphine, but we need to give her more because she is still very obviously in pain.

I don't remember much after this. It's a bit patchy.

I was wheeled back on the ward. I remember seeing curtains being drawn around me.

The next thing I remember is Hubby and my Sis-in-Law sitting with me. I'm not sure how long they were there for. I ended up staying the night. And was administered more morphine in the early hours of the morning. I also tried going to the toilet a couple of times, but although felt the need to go, nothing was coming out. The night nurse scanned my bladder, to check there wasn't a problem. I was able to go on the third of forth attempt. I also had my blood pressure and pulse checked, on three occassions, I was advised to use the oxygen mask as my oxygen levels were low.

In the morning we were all woken at around half 6 and administered pain killers, then breakfast was served at around quarter to 8. My throat was painful from the tubes which were put down my throat during the operation. I tried to eat toast, because I had no idea of what was available and had heard another patient order it. This was soooo not a good idea! I drank loads of water instead.

The other women received their Consultants and were discharged. I hadn't seen mine, and was still there at lunchtime. I was given a towel and allowed to wash and get changed. I'd brought a pair of leggings to go over the wound in the abdomen, and needed to use sanitary pads, as there was blood following the procedure. Then I sat on the bed, and read.

Just before the food was served, the Main Ward Nurse came over to speak with me. She asked if I had seen my Consultant yet, and whether I had been discharged. I replied I hadn't. She went to get my notes, and said she would be able to change my dressings and then discharge me. When she came back with my notes, she pulled the curtain around me and asked, "What do you know about what happened to you?" I replied that I'd not spoken to anyone about it. She informed me that she would have to get the Consultant to speak to me, and off she went. Just as my dinner arrived. I started to cry. Again. Hubby arrived. And together, we waited for the Consultant.